Yolo County, Calif., Delays Vote To Restrict County Health Services to Undocumented Immigrants
The Yolo County, Calif., Board of Supervisors on Tuesday delayed a vote on a proposal to eliminate county funding for health care services for undocumented immigrants as part of an effort to cut $1.5 million from the county's health budget, the Sacramento Bee reports. Instead the county officials will try to reach an agreement with local hospitals to help fund community clinics (Sangree, Sacramento Bee, 5/6).
California counties have been taking such action amid the economic recession to reduce their budgets. In February, Sacramento County voted to prohibit undocumented immigrants from receiving care at county clinics to save an estimated $2.4 million. Contra Costa County last month cut services for undocumented adults, seeking to save an estimated $6 million (Kaiser Health Disparities Report, 4/27).
Yolo County is facing a $24 million budget deficit for fiscal year 2009-2010.
At the meeting Tuesday, physicians and health officials said that cutting services for low-income residents would push them to seek care at hospital emergency departments. In addition, Yolo County officials also are concerned that undocumented immigrants from Sacramento County will seek care in Yolo County, the Bee reports.
The board will reconsider the proposal at its May 19 meeting. Board Chair Mike McGowan said supervisors would approve the cuts if the county does not finalize an agreement with hospitals about funding for clinics (Sacramento Bee, 5/6).